This week the Government of Ontario released a framework to reopen the economy and gradually lift the emergency measures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework will be implemented once COVID-19 cases decrease to an acceptable level (in addition to other conditions being met) in Ontario.
While we wait for the government to announce a return to non-emergency/non-urgent care by Ontario’s healthcare professionals, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is working collaboratively with other health regulators, the government and the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario (RMTAO) on how Massage Therapists (RMTs/MTs) can safely return to practice.
In consultation with these partners, CMTO is developing guidelines for the practice environment, that may include requirements such as pre-appointment screening and heightened infection control and sanitation practices, including the requirement to use personal protective equipment (PPE), for example, masks and gloves. Please know that CMTO is working diligently to prepare guidance so RMTs will be able to provide safe, effective and ethical healthcare, as soon as government orders are lifted.
In the meantime, RMTs might be wondering what they can do to prepare. CMTO suggests reviewing information and resources on how to properly use and dispose of PPE, including:
- Public Health Ontario’s instructional videos for putting on and taking off PPE for droplet and contact precaution
- Appendix L: Recommended Steps for Putting on and Taking Off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
RMTs will also need to familiarize themselves with the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) best practice documents and Ministry of Health screening guidance, including:
- Best Practices for Hand Hygiene in all Health Care Settings
- Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections
- Best Practices for Prevention, Surveillance and Infection Control Management of Novel Respiratory Infections in All Health Care Settings
- Case Definition – Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms
- COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance Document
CMTO would like to thank Ontario’s RMTs. Your efforts are going a long way in stopping the spread of COVID-19.